I stole a bike from the Second Mile

I stole a bike from the Second Mile September 17, 2012

“Kremer and D’Souza seem to have forgotten one of the first rules of storytelling, at least when I was growing up: The one who wants to rule the world is The Bad Guy.

“For Romney, God blesses America because it is America and America is good because it is America and America will succeed because it is America. To put this sensibility in the terms of a common religious expression, let us bless ourselves: In the name of America, the nation, and the holy nation — Amen.”

“I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that’s the America millions of Americans believe in. That’s the America I love.”

“For all of the angry freakouts by conservatives who have claimed that Obamacare was going to be the end of the world as they knew it and the triumph of socialism over freedom, not a single person I spoke with could offer up concrete evidence that Obamacare was now or would ever be ruining their lives.”

And ‘dick you over’ is not a winning answer.

“Are there parallels between the ‘high school is hell’ motif in Buffy, and the reality of living as a Christian in the North American evangelical Church?

“Moon did 13 months for the crime and Christian televangelists like Jerry Falwell and Tim LaHaye, realizing their own legal vulnerability, rallied to his support.”

“In the early 1980s, Moon began pouring millions into Religious Right organizations. Over the years, he used a network of front groups to channel cash to people like Tim LaHaye, Jerry Falwell, Ralph Reed, Gary Bauer and others.”

“The Vatican is not shy about getting rid of bishops when it believes they have misbehaved. The measure of how serious it is about addressing the sexual abuse crisis and repairing the church’s reputation is whether it proceeds to remove Bishop Finn from office forthwith.”

“It brings great disrepute to the Catholic church and its moral teachings. And it should do so.”

“I charge you to imagine the above scenario played out with you as the target of rejection.”

“The Gospel is inclusion into the fold of God, and we are to bring such inclusion to those that are excluded, that are bastardized and marginalized and under the power of evil, and to bring the way of the One who has given such amazing things to us.”

“Although it was a deeply meaningful experience for me, it was a Christian sacrament, and we had come to the moon in the name of all [humanity] — be they Christians, Jews, Muslims, animists, agnostics, or atheists.”

“With no real organization, no official leaders, no fixed institutions — and no bloodshed — they went up against the most powerful empire on earth, and won.”

“If it’s done well, then you get both the ugliness that comes out of showing how people really are around issues like race and gender, but also a hidden underlying counter-current that puts in front of you the very real, very personal, consequences of these orientations.”

“It is important to comprehend the desire for vengeance expressed in the Book of Revelation, and to not pretend that we cannot relate to it. But as Christians, we should also seek to overcome the desire for vengeance expressed therein, based on principles which we and its author share, but which that author did not always succeed in living up to, any more than we do.”

“You’ll tremble in fear when Jesus, the raging Lion of Judah, completely devastates the Earth, never to rise again.” (via)

“Because man did not have the authority to put murderers to death during this time, acts of violence and passion grew to such dimensions that God mercifully sent the Flood to destroy all of mankind but one believing family.”

“Unlike most other issues that have been in the forefront of evangelical social action of late, lying is, after all, one of the Big Ten: ‘Thou shalt not bear false witness against their neighbor.'”

Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity, Vol. XXXIV

Church Sign Epic Fails, Vol. XXXI


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  • The_L1985

     Er, no.  There are Christian UU’s, Pagan UU’s, atheist/Freethinker UU’s, Jewish UU’s, etc.  It’s become more or less a catch-all, rather than a denomination in the traditional sense.

  • hidden_urchin

    Yeah, next thing you know we entitled government freeloaders will be saying we have a right to air.

  • JustoneK

    I always learn things in these comment threads :D

  • JustoneK

    No, that helps a lot.  I blame a lot of this on Anglish.

  • JustoneK

    This is not helping my lovey-dovey kumbaya argument against a friend’s, who claims that Republicans pretty actively want the rest of us to die.

  • Carstonio

     The Southern Strategy meets the Just World Fallacy. I knew that any child born of that horrid union would have 666 on its scalp.

  • Lori

    Spike & Buffy had a complicated relationship. Unlike many other fans, I wasn’t particularly fond of it and there was one moment in particular that cemented it as a big ol’ N.O. for me and made me seriously POed at the person running the show at the time.

    That said, you do realize that both Spike & Buffy are supernaturally strong and also, being the slayer & a vampire, basically natural mortal enemies, yes? Did it also occur to you that watching clips gives no context and that you might be missing some stuff?

    I doubt very seriously that there’s a single bit of entertainment that someone doesn’t look at and say, “Why do people watch/read/listen to this?” It’s almost always a rude, judgmental question.

  • Carstonio

     Never saw the Buffy show, but James Marsters also played Brainiac on Smallville.

  • Lori

    Speaking as one of the 47%, I heartily endorse #4.

    One of the things that makes me so angry about Mittens’ Country Club BS is that he acts as if being one of the 47% is a permanent, defining characteristic. He totally fails to grasp (because it would be inconvenient for him to do so) that for the vast majority of folks, not paying federal income tax is not a life-long state. Most adults who don’t pay income tax are either young and  heading toward decades of paying, or retired after decades of paying.  Others, like me, paid for many years and would love to be paying again if only we could find jobs that pay enough to put us above the payment threshold. I’ve been working full time for the last 6 months. It looks like my so-called temp job will continue through the remainder of the year and I’m about to get a substantial raise (as a percentage of my current wage). That raise is the thing that going to push my income up enough for me to likely owe a small about of income tax. At my current pay rate I wouldn’t have paid anything. (By Right Wing logic I should be angry about the raise because it increases my tax burden. In fact, by their reckoning I should have quit my job rather than accept the raise. I am not and I did not. Because I am not an idiot.) If Mitt thinks that I prefer this situation to the years when I made more than twice as much money as I’m making now (plus had full benefits) and paid significantly more income tax he’s off his nut.

    It’s also worth pointing out that some of the free loaders not paying income tax are incredibly wealthy individuals and corporations who game the system.  Funny how Mittens doesn’t talk about them at all.

  • AnonymousSam

    Oh, but you see, that’s because they work really, really hard for their massive income. Like almost 50 hours a week! Completely unlike when I worked 90 hours a week for 46741 times less pay, because I’m just a leech and he’s a job-maker. Never mind that people like him are the reason the company I worked for wound up terminating my job to employ people from the Philippines at even lower wages than what I was getting, and has since been sued for, among many things, predatory business practices revolving around profiting off the work of other companies.

    You know, the noble class.

  • Isabel C.

    Yep. And sometimes those things don’t work, or you don’t want to try, and that’s okay too, as long as everyone’s honest about it.

    I don’t know whether I could put the necessary time in to wean myself away from NRE fun times and be happily monogamous or not: I suspect not, because of other things and also because I think the mono-poly thing is about as hardwired as other sexual preferences. 

    But whether I could or not, at some point I decided that I didn’t want to, that nobody was worth the struggle, and I’ve been way happier since.

    Mind you, this probably will not convince the fundies of anything, but very little about me will do that. 

  • AnonymousSam

    Communication is the big part in any form of sexuality. Conflict arises when people are on separate pages about something and are unable to communicate how or why. As long as you’re up-front and explicit in your lack of desire for a monogamous relationship (and remain consistently so if you do visit the same partner[s] more than once, to avoid giving them mixed signals and/or the impression that your words belie your true feelings), you’re already doing everything you’re obligated to do.

    People tend to place “sexual monogamy” in the “respecting your partner” box, but the two aren’t always a necessary bundle. Communication, however, is. If you don’t know your partner’s thoughts and wishes about sexuality, you can’t respect them. I have known of a few open relationships where two partners essentially considered themselves live-in friends with benefits which also happened to include financial and emotional support. One of the requirements in each such relationship was to know and have confidence in their partner’s activities, which included regular testing for STDs and HIV whenever a new sexual partner became involved (significantly reducing the “putting your partner at risk” argument).

    I lost touch with two of the people in such relationships, but I know of one which is now going on ten years with no major issues that I’ve heard of. What impresses me even more about that relationship is that the female partner accidentally conceived from one of these liaisons and this hasn’t placed any stress upon them that I’m aware of. You’d never know the child wasn’t legitimately theirs.

    Then again, I think I gave you the thumbs up in the past for being so matter-of-fact about such things. Stupid bad memory.

  • JustoneK

    Incidentally, there’s an update from ThinkProgress:  http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/09/18/865201/romney-surrogate-47-remark-were-intended-for-business-people/

     “When you’re off the record, at a private event, you are less careful than when you are at a public event.”   A fundraiser is not a public event?  What?

  • Lori

    I don’t have nearly as much of a problem with an invitation-only fund raiser being considered a private event as I do with the idea that it’s OK to like about & demean almost half the people you claim to want to lead as long as you think the press isn’t going to get wind of it.

  • AnonymousSam

    … He thinks that makes it better?

  • JustoneK

    The impression I get is that the only bad things are the ones you get caught doing.

  • David Starner

    Punishment, by definition, is something that you normally shouldn’t do to people. Calling executioners murderers ignores the fact that locking someone in your basement for 25 to life is also a hideous thing to do. There’s no response to a serial killer that will protect other people that’s a reasonable thing to do to normal people.

  • That said, you do realize that both Spike & Buffy are supernaturally
    strong and also, being the slayer & a vampire, basically natural
    mortal enemies, yes? Did it also occur to you that watching clips gives
    no context and that you might be missing some stuff?

    I thought that unnecessarily snippy and a bit harsh.

    You’ve never decided, on the basis of partial information, to decide not to watch/see/read something?

  • LouisDoench

    Agreed, there are seriously embarrassing scenes from season 1 of Babylon 5 that I would hate for people to judge the show on. 

  • Lunch Meat

    “When you’re human, you make comments,” he explained. “When you’re off
    the record, at a private event, you are less careful than when you are
    at a public event.” He went on to say that the statements are
    “unimportant” to “what really matters to people.”

    I’m so glad he told me what matters to me. Now I know exactly what to think.

  • veejayem

    In fact, you are so poorly paid/exploited by a large business corporation that in order to keep you from starving (just) the state is effectively subsidising a large business corporation. A similar thing happens in Britain with tax credits etc.  for families on low incomes. Yet strangely enough right-wing politicians on both sides of the Atlantic have nothing to say on the subject.

  • Here is what I have to say to Mitt Romney today:

    Fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you

    One man saw that I was ill and did his best to heal me. Another saw that I was ill and called me a freeloader. 

    No, seriously Mitt. Fuck you.

  • I don’t like Buffy, but I can get behind Lori’s harshness here. I am incredibly sick of people deciding on the teeniest bit of information (which is often misinformation) that some kind of media is horrible and anyone who likes it must be horrible. The last straw for me was when someone said Wynne from Dragon Age talking about being tired was sexist and therefore the whole game was sexist and the writers were sexist. When Wynne is at least 70 years old, running around all day and night with young people (including other women who never talk about being tired) slaying monsters, saving everyone’s life over and over, and also she is *technically dead*. 

    I see this kind of stuff constantly — in high-rated reviews on Amazon, in random comments on the internet, most of all in tvtropes, and it has gotten worse in the past few years. I swear people’s comprehension has plummeted. And I’m tired of it.

  • You’ve never decided, on the basis of partial information, to decide not to watch/see/read something?

    There’s a difference between that and going online to ask the world “Why do people watch this?” in horrified tones.

  • vsm

    I’ve noticed it too. I’m sure these people have good intentions, but
    denouncing works of art, rather than engaging with them, is not actually a
    very interesting position. I’m not saying you should never do it, but
    save it for something truly vile. For instance, writing off Bioware’s
    games because of occasional sexism* is counter-productive when they’re
    one of the few gaming companies who at least try to consider audiences
    other than 15-year old straight white guys and are often successful**.
    Their failings should certainly be criticized and analyzed, but their
    successes should not be ignored.

    *My favorite example comes from Dragon Age, which kept insisting Leliana
    was better protected by a glorified crop top than a leather armor.

    **According to Bioware’s statistics, only 20% of gamers play Mass Effect
    with a female character. They still included her and gave her one of
    the best voice actresses in the business. She has become something of a
    feminist icon.

  • B

    Dunno. I said, “Why do people watch this stuff?” about the last 2 seasons of Buffy, and I was one of the people who watched the last 2 seasons of Buffy…

  • Mike Timonin

     I don’t think Unitarian Universalists count themselves as Christians.

    Some of us do. 

  • Lori


    You’ve never decided, on the basis of partial information, to decide not to watch/see/read something?  

    Of course. The thing is “I don’t think this is for me” =/= “Why does anyone watch this show?” The first is absolutely fine. You have a total right to decide something isn’t interesting to you on the basis of any amount of information that you chose, or none at all. That doesn’t mean that asking why anyone else would watch it doesn’t come off as rather judgmental (speaking of a bit harsh).

  • Lori

    I hear ya. On more than one occasion, especially during the last season, I asked “Why am I watching this?” I’m still not sure I made the right choice to hang in and I about 99% sure that if they’d done another season I wouldn’t have watched it. (I think I may be alone in my utter hatred of the last episode, but I hated it.) I would have paid cash money for another season of Angel, but by the end of Buffy I was off the bus.

  • Fair enough. Sorry about that.

  • Lori

    No problem. It’s both sort of a sore spot for me and also I thing I sometimes have to remind myself not to do.

  • rich

    “What you do for the least amongst us, you do for me…”
    Reconciling the words of the deity of Christians with the comments about the useless and worthless 47 percenters?

    Why don’t their heads spontaneously explode due to egregious levels of cognitive dissonance?